I wasn't allowed to have cable television as a child. It is a story I've told before and will probably undoubtedly repeat again, but not today. It isn't important why I wasn't allowed to have cable TV or how I managed to become so obsessed with the medium with only a handful of network offerings; it is important that today I do have cable television, and I plan to allow my children the same...well, let's face it: to some it is a luxury, but to me it is a necessity! And thankfully, some cable networks understand such a plight. One in particular, Nickelodeon, is even so sympathetic they are offering "retro" programming and rerunning all of their awesome nineties sitcoms that I unfortunately had to miss out on.
I can finally be the cool kid at the lunch table, only almost two decades too late!
I didn't get to experience Clarissa Explains it All or Pete & Pete or even Are You Afraid of the Dark? every week the way all of my childhood friends did. I had to peer around them the morning after and see what stories I could piece together from the bits and pieces they recalled-- a funny line here, a cute boy guest star there. After a certain point, one friend took pity on me and would invite me over to watch with her, but I wasn't able to get to her house every night the shows aired, so I would fill in the gaps with poorly taped VHS copies of things I had missed-- episodes never in chronological order and often not even in full.
But I did what I had to do for the art-- and the addiction. And now, years later, I can finally tune into what all the fuss was really about because from midnight to 2 am (!?) Nickelodeon will air a new block of television called "The 90s Are All That", featuring some of these fine programs. Also on the list are Kenan & Kel (see the SNL star in sketches just as amateurish as the ones on SNL but actually written for kids!), The Amanda Show (see Amanda Bynes before Twitter took hold of her!), All That (see how many kids from that series actually went on to become more legitimate actors; it was Nick's version of The Mickey Mouse Club!), and Rugrats (well, this one I actually saw, as ABC used to air the cartoon on weekend mornings.
It's kind of ironic how when I was of the age this programming was actually geared toward me, it was unavailable to me. Now I want to see what I missed so badly, I'm considering investing in a DVR simply because I know I'm too old to be staying up for that two-hour window to actually catch it when it airs! But damn, if they add the aforementioned Are You Afraid of the Dark? or The Secret World of Alex Mack or Guts, I will be shotgunning Coffee Bean lattes to keep my eyes peeled! Those two were my favorites, from the grainy VHS copies, and from the video game (respectively). And yeah, I don't understand the logic between letting me a video game system but not cable, either!